A Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Inferno
Perhaps the most stirring masterpiece from the Middle Ages, Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy was an astonishing achievement that places the author among the ranks of the great epic poets of the classical world. It is fitting, then, that Virgil serves as the autobiographical narrator's mentor and guide through Hell and Purgatory, while Alighieri's great, doomed love Beatrice leads him through Heaven (Paradiso). Written up until the author's death in 1321, Alighieri broke from tradition by composing his epic in his native tongue – a Tuscan dialect – rather than the standard Latin, in which such works were normally written. Translated by Allen Mandelbaum.